Those in the commercial property remodeling industry have observed an increase in demand from 2015 to 2019, thanks to contracting office rental vacancy rates and rising consumer spending through 2019. While this remodeling surge slowed in 2020 due to the pandemic, this slowdown is expected to rebound and instances of remodeling are expected to grow over the next five years.
What’s more — 90% of homeowners are planning to remodel their homes.
As remodeling happens in record numbers, more and more facilities managers and homeowners are searching for ways to convert their existing wood or plywood subfloors into concrete floors. The problem? Daily temperature and humidity changes cause wood to move, expand, and shift under the stress.
Polished concrete floors offer all kinds of benefits, but those planning to install concrete over a wood floor should consult with the professionals at Duraamen before beginning to ensure a successful installation.
Why Choose Polished Concrete?
Polished cement floors are a popular flooring option because of their long list of perks. For starters, polished concrete floors are shockingly low maintenance. While some other floors need regular care, properly-sealed concrete floors repel dirt, grit, and stains, and can withstand hard impacts. All polished concrete needs is a little bit of sweeping and damp mopping to look its very best.
Concrete is quite strong and nearly impervious to scratching or denting. Concrete holds up in the elements and with plenty of heavy vehicle traffic in residential driveways and commercial parking lots. It’s no wonder homeowners and facilities managers are choosing concrete as their flooring material — it’s incredibly durable!
Polished concrete floors can also make a fashion statement. Concrete doesn’t require special applications to finish it off, but with polished concrete, dyes and sealants can transform gray concrete into a smooth, gleaming focal point in a room.
These floors offer beautiful design options. There are countless modern techniques to finish polished concrete, so it’s anything but plain, boring concrete. For luxurious finishes, dyes can be added to the concrete or applied afterward in a wide range of earthy colors. Surface treatments can turn a simple cement floor into a one-of-a-kind finish.
Installing Polished Concrete Floors Over Plywood
Duraamen offers a full line of products that work together as a tried-and-true system for installing polished concrete floors and plenty of tutorials to ensure a successful installation. These products are engineered to work well together to create an attractive, long-lasting final result. Without choosing this system, those looking to install this popular flooring choice may have to purchase an excess of products from various locations to achieve a lesser-quality finish.
What’s so important to know about installing self-leveling concrete over plywood? Plywood is a porous product that contains and attracts moisture and needs to be appropriately treated and sealed before pouring cement on the substrate. The wood needs to be entirely sealed off—even at the corners—to ensure the surface is ready for self-leveling concrete.
Without treating the wood flooring substrate, the polished concrete will be susceptible to outgassing, and moisture can seep into the wood, causing it to delaminate. Also, seams must be covered with a mesh barrier and treated with a structural urethane to keep the self-leveling concrete from seeping into these seams. The screws that keep the plywood secure must also be treated with a Param FP (Featherpatch) base to prevent them from rusting or ghosting. Once this work is complete, the plywood can be primed with unthinned Paramol to seal off any moisture.
Design Options for a Beautiful Polished Concrete Floor
Self-leveling concrete flooring like Param 5500 opens the door to all kinds of design options. Before sealing the product off with a matte or glossy polyurethane sealer or a sprayable polished concrete microtopping like Arapido, multiple layers of Skraffino can be applied in combination with a series of pigments and dyes to achieve the desired color.
A polished concrete floor can have the faintest hint of color by diluting hyperpigmented dyes until they become a dye wash, or the floors can be dyed in a variety of bright colors, depending on the desired effect and design aesthetic. Depending on the colors and application techniques, polished concrete can look trendy or timeless.
Some current design trends in commercial and residential polished concrete floors include:
- Concrete dyes that range from translucent to opaque
- Staining concrete
- Incorporating intricate designs or specific messages for marketing purposes, typically in commercial settings.
Duraamen has the products that homeowners, contractors, and facilities managers need to install a gleaming, smooth polished concrete floor, no matter the substrate. While a plywood substrate requires a bit more attention upfront, the outcome can be just as elegant as if it were poured over any other surface with careful application.
For optimal results, don’t cobble together solutions from multiple vendors. Discover Duraamen’s self-leveling concrete flooring system for plywood substrates here. Questions? Contact us today!